Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images.
In a highly entertaining tilt that saw back and forth action all game long, the Philadelphia Flyers edge the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday by a score of 2-1 at the Joe Louis Arena. The Flyers have not had much success at Joe Louis or in shootouts but tonight escape with two points and three of a possible four points in a back to back game situation this weekend.
Philadelphia also remains just two points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with three games-in-hand.
The Flyers received just one goal in the win from Claude Giroux (13th). The Flyers’ lone tally started in the defensive zone as Wayne Simmonds chipped a puck to Voracek at their own blueline. From there, Voracek accelerated through the neutral zone with Red Wings forward Reilly Sheehan pursuing him. Upon gaining Detroit’s blueline with good speed, Voracek then took the puck below the harsh marks before making an excellent drop pass between the legs of Wings’ defensemen Danny Dekeyser to Giroux. The captain then absolutely tattooed the puck off the far post and into the net.
Winning goaltender Michal Neuvirth was stellar in goal as he turned away 29 of 30 shots fired his way. The night really belonged to Neuvirth as he was sharp throughout an entire contest that included a five minute powerplay for Detroit. Neuvirth picks up his 10th win of the season and remains in a tie for best save percentage in the NHL.
Here are your game notes:
Giroux and Voracek teamed up on the Flyers lone goal of the contest but did so again in the shootout as both players scored to propel the Flyers to victory. Giroux and Voracek proved, once again, that they are elite players in this league, coming through when their team needs them most.
Giroux’s shootout attempt was a thing of beauty as he put Wings’ goaltender Petr Mrazek on his belly with a slick deke before tucking the disc home.
Voracek went with a much simpler approach as he came in on the shootout attempt with speed and a wrist shot, beating Mrazek five- hole.
It’s really no secret; if the Flyers are to sustain a playoff push, Giroux and Voracek need to be right in the middle of it, leading this team offensively. Over the last six games, this tandem has done just that.
Finally, I would be very surprised if Ryan White doesn’t receive supplemental discipline from the NHL for his very high hit on Tomas Jurco in the first period. White received a match penalty on the play and at minimum, a phone call from player safety.
The Flyers’ forward has been suspended before for throwing similar-looking hits but I wouldn’t necessarily say White has a reputation for being a dirty or dishonest player. The last time he was suspended was against the Flyers in 2013, when he leveled journeymen defensemen Kent Huskins with a big hit.
The one thing that may save White, however, is that he never left his feet, which usually a telltale sign that there was intent to injure and that a suspension is on the way.
NOTE–The red-hot Flyers will return to action on Tuesday, when they’ll host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center.